Bulgarian Voters 'Do Not Know' of EU Election Preference
Voting preferences and many other elements of the forthcoming European Elections remain "unknown" to voters in Bulgaria, an NGO head has argued.
Antoaneta Tsoneva, the President of The Institute for Public Environment Development (IPED), has said in an interview with the Bulgarian National Radio that participants in the pre-election campaign "want it to remain inconspicuous" and that "connection with voters remains indeterminable".
Tsoneva, however, has added that traditional "schemes" and "incentives" are yet to be used in the campaign to encourage voters. Among those she cited "smoking grills, low-talent video clips as political adverts in which any kind of sport is being talked about" and described them as a proof that those elections are scratching the surface."
Some Bulgarian parties have indeed used the sport theme as a way to portray a competition against their rivals.
"The campaign which should clarify new election moments to voters isn't there," Tsoneva believes. "The ballot is unknown. Voters do not know of the existence of a preference."
In mid-February Bulgaria's Parliament approved a five-percent threshold for the European vote on May 25 as part of a new Election Code.
It enables those who go to the polls to choose a candidate out of their party's lists and place him/her on top, with their preference reshuffling the list if over 5% of that party's supporters have done the same. Specific conditions were also introduced, as ballots with no preference vote marked will be counted in favour of the current "Number One" in the list.
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